Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Such a letter
Written by Deborah Y
(10/26/2005 9:34 a.m.)
* The letter elegantly solves the plot problem: how to bridge the gap between two rather reticent people who never get to spend more than five minutes alone together.
And just as the fact to which those last three words refer – his constancy – will be the bridge from the pain of the past to the possibility of a new beginning, so too does the phrase provide a bridge from the first half of the letter, with its evocation of the past, to the second half, which is all about the present: “You alone have brought me to Bath. . . .I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings.” Indeed, we’re quickly not just in the present, but in real time, with FW reporting his emotions and reactions as they occur (“I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me.” “You sink your voice. . . ” ”You do us justice, indeed.”) And then, as this section of the letter ends, he summarizes her position: “You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men.” The alert reader will remember that this phrase – “true attachment and constancy” – is a verbatim echo of Anne’s words a few pages earlier in her conversation with Captain Harville. So in the course of the letter, he moves from a metaphorical evocation of the anguish that she has caused him (“You pierce my soul”) to perfect unison with her – fittingly, on the very phrase that, again, describes the fact that makes this unison possible.
In other words, these few sentences work at the level of plot, character, language and theme – plus they put a lump in my throat pretty much every time I read the book. What an incredible artist JA is.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.